So much more than a desk

My desk at home was mostly non-existent. When I had worked from home years ago, I was in a basement office with a makeshift table/desk, an upholstered office chair, baby toys, a comfy rug and soft music. This was where I locked myself away, along with my walking 11 month old son, to do design work.

When I began a full time career in the newsroom I didn’t have a need for my makeshift office/playroom. The newspaper provided a laptop for any weekend writing so my computer and little office/playroom went into hibernation. I did all the big no-nos you should never do with a Mac. I didn’t update, not one single time, for two years.

Because we’re busy (or haven’t felt the force of necessity) we still haven’t fixed the fact that our basement has zero power. Thus, the office is out of order. One afternoon, soon after I put in my two weeks notice at the paper, I brought my iMac upstairs, set it on the only logical surface in my house, an end table. This has been my desk for almost a month. This is where I stayed awake into the wee hours of the morning cursing my neglect of my computer as I tried to update my OS. It is where I typed my last blogpost. It’s where I warned my kids nearly one hundred times “DO NOT TOUCH!”

My friend/boss/farmer had made some purchases at a liquidation sale at a school. He only wanted file cabinets, however, because of the bundling that was done at the sale he found himself the owner of a couple desks he had no need or place for. After taking out a bucket of rotten tomatoes from the grading room I admired one desk with a pencil sharpener mounted on the corner. I love using pencils, there’s something about the sound a No. 2 pencil makes when you are jotting down notes or writing out a grocery list. I know, it’s weird. A really good pencil sharpener is either expensive or hard to come by so when I saw this metal hand cranked Boston KS I was a little excited. I asked him if he would mind parting with the pencil sharpener. He asked if I wanted the whole desk. I didn’t really know I needed a desk, but what the heck. We haggled a little over the price and next thing you know I was bringing the truck back on my next work day to take home a hefty piece of furniture.

My husband knows by now that I can’t pass up a nice piece of old furniture. By no means am I at hoarder status, every piece I’ve brought in has found a nice place in our home. He eventually grows to like, even love, the pieces I’ve brought home. However, it has become our tradition that he complains about unloading it and moving things around to accommodate it. He’s not entirely comfortable with change, poor guy, he didn’t know when we got married that he was marrying a furniture rearranging mastermind.

We moved the living room around a little and set up my new little corner. I stepped back admiring the new living room. The thought struck me that this is a step in the right direction. I needed this more than I knew. I’ve muddled through these last few weeks not really knowing that deep down I’m still trying to find a place. I know I have my place with my family, no one can ever change that. Family and faith have been my rock and my foundation. But my soaring thoughts and ideas need a place to go.

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What I guess I’m trying to say is this desk is more than a new piece of furniture in our home. It is a permanent symbol and physical manifestation of me grabbing ahold of something and reclaiming what I knew was always mine, a part of my being I thought I lost: My love of writing and my ability to create. It’s just an old school teacher’s desk with an iMac and a few antique relics, but this is the space where I will take back what is mine, where I can start to feel like me again.

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Fields of Lace

 

Little lacy flowers dancing in the breeze in nearly every meadow this time of year. Beware, there is a hidden danger in alluring meadows like the one you see. I have come to the conclusion that anytime you see someone carelessly strolling through a field brushing their hand across the grass and flowers, it is definitely NOT in Kentucky. If you are ignorant brave enough or just don’t know what you’re doing, you could walk through the tall grass to admire or pick these and other beautiful wildflowers but the dreaded menace of the south will be waiting for unsuspecting hosts. What is this menace I speak of? Chiggers. The tiny mites that wait on tall grasses and Queen Anne’s Lace (affectionately called Chigger Weed by anyone who has suffered from the little pests). I haven’t had them in years, mostly because I just don’t venture into meadows and fields for blackberry picking with a tank top, shorts and flip-flops. 😉

I admire Queen Anne’s Lace from a distance. Lucky you, though! You don’t even have to risk getting too close, you can look at my picture!

Observing human behavior from my porch

Go ahead have a laugh at my crumby yard sale sign. I am.

Yard Sale. That’s what I’m doing this weekend. It’s a lot of hard work getting everything out and displaying my junk goods in such a way as to make people want to buy them. When I have a yard sale my main objective is to get rid of crap stuff and eliminate clutter, freeing up some much needed space so I can bring in more stuff so that space can be utilized to it’s full potential.

I’ve always liked to observe people and their behavior. It gives me much entertainment something to think about. So here is a compilation of the sort of people that you will see at a yard sale.

There’s deal hounds, they sniff out every deal, they look it over, pick it up, walk around it and if it suits their fancy they ask for a lower price. If you don’t oblige they walk away. There are those that act like they are getting away with stealing. They hold their goods in the crook of their arm, come to you to pay and the whole time they’re looking around like they are going to get caught. There’s people who can’t decide if they really want something. They dance around the item, they’ll even pick it up and walk around with it looking at other stuff. Sometimes these types make a purchase only to have yard sale remorse as they drive away realizing they didn’t need it after all. Sometimes they simply figure out they really don’t want/need the item before they leave and put it back making sure you didn’t see them (this used to be me, but I’m getting better). There are ones that are embarrassed to be seen at a yard sale and are continually dodging behind large furniture and trees or ducking under tables and hanging clothes when a car drives by. They make a quick exit when someone else arrives. I think these are also the drive by yard salers, see below.

There are ones that pull in your driveway look from the car, if nothing catches their eye they leave. Because they really want to make sure they didn’t miss something they are backing up still looking for something to make them stay and get out of the car, only to back over your carefully planted, fertilized, pruned and absolutely stunning rose bush that is now a stub, quickly speeding off before the angry yard sale lady comes running.

There are ones that get some sort of high from looking through your stuff and getting good deals, you could practically see their eyes dilate from the excitement when the pick up an item that’s priced well. They will then rush around the tables like they are on speed grasping at all sorts of things with no real regard as to what they are grabbing.

There are people that get competitive at yard sales too. They eye their opponents and carefully size them up as they walk toward the stuff. They are constantly looking over their shoulder to see what others are looking at and quickly grab up the semi-good item just so others can’t get it. I suspect that these people would be the ones that look and leave if there was nobody else around at the time.

The drive by yard saler will drive by slowly, turn around down the road somewhere and drive back by even slower but won’t stop because nothing catches their eye. I think these people really can’t stop unless there is a large piece of furniture calling to them or they could be the embarrassed ones as stated above.

You have the people who you can clearly see pick up an item read the sticker then turn to you and ask “How much for this?” You tell them what you thought the price was only to receive this exact reply: “That’s not what the sticker says!” Seriously? Also the ones that, I think, come just to see what kind of stuff you have with no intentions on making any purchases. This is especially true of neighbors.

My personal favorite, the die hard deal getter. They will haggle to the bitter end trying to talk you down. They absolutely cannot pay asking price for ANYTHING. To them paying asking price is a sin and they will be tortured for days thinking they could have gotten something for a better price. For example: an item is .25¢,  die hard deal getter asks “Will you take any less?” What?!? Are you flippin’ kidding me? They don’t even make stickers with lesser amounts printed on them anymore! But I have one for you, deal getter, the stuff you are giving me money for—no matter how much you talked me down—was destined for the mission store anyway. Ha ha ha ha who has the last laugh now, yeah, that’s what I’m talking about!

I like the older folks that come to yard sales. They are friendly, they take their time, they ask how you’re doing and always tell you to have a good day. I’ve just said good bye to one of these types, a nun, who sat on our front porch rocking chair and talked with me and the boys like she knew us for years and left saying God bless to our whole family, and God bless our adventure in building a house.

PS if there’s typos and grammar issues, I apologize. I’ve read this thing 15 times and quite honestly I’m tired. Not to mention it is darn near impossible to proofread your own writing.

Theme-songitis: it’s real

Theme-song-itis, you read it correctly. It is a hereditary affliction, it started with my dad. He would make light of serious situations with a song that had to do with whatever the subject was. In my family, especially with all the siblings I have (5), every other conversation will result in a few lines from a song. It becomes habit. Something happens or is said and instantly you have a tune weaving its way through your brain and rolling off your tongue before you realize what’s happening. Yes, we are beyond abnormal.

The kids and I were on our way to Mana’s house this morning—it is an office day and my mom watches the kids for me. We passed some roadkill and my son instantly wanted to listen to Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road, by Loudon Wainwright. Apparently he has been afflicted with the theme-song-itis as well. At least we know where he gets it.

Promenade in the Rain

This past weekend I had the pleasure of taking some photos of my sister, Sarah, and friend, Jason. This would have been a first prom for both of them, but they didn’t get to go. Sarah would not be allowed to attend the prom at Jason’s school due to the some school rules.

They wanted to show that they could have a good time with out the cheesy disco ball, strobe lights and likely poorly chosen music. So they got dressed up and I took their pictures. Unfortunately it rained—the entire time. We made it work and had a blast doing so.

She will kill me for this picture, but you have to see how amazingly gorgeous her eyes are!

Now it was time for some fun. Some light off-roading through Jason’s farm to get to a pond with a lovely little pavilion. Made me realize how much I missed those days my husband and I used to go off-roading. Ahh, to be young and care free. Well, I am still young but the care free part has vanished into oblivion. ha ha.

On to the next location where they really had some fun!

As you can see they had fun. I was only slightly frustrated and disappointed that I had to use my old Sony Cybershot for the outdoor photos and they didn’t turn out as good as I would have liked. However, It was the most exciting prom I’ve been to. Actually, it was the only prom experience I’ve had, I didn’t go to prom either. What were your experiences with prom? Did you go? Was it what you expected? What sort of “rite of passage” things are done in other parts of the world? Please share.

My minivan isn’t as friendly as my Jeep was

Every week I stop and fill up my gas tank at a locally run gas station/mechanic garage/tire place. I go there because it is a full service station and I don’t like dragging the kids in and out of the car anymore than necessary. When I’m in a hurry on a morning that I have to go to the office, wrestling with the five point harness while making sure the other child is staying put then having to carry the one that has no self-control, struggling with holding the hand of a four-year-old boy who has “out-grown” holding mom’s hand while weaving through a busy gas station parking lot is not on my list of favorite things to do. Oh, and how could I forget the part about dodging the curious glances (of course I put that nicely) of various construction workers off to their jobs. Okay they aren’t always construction workers. There is also that creepy guy that used to come in to the little diner I worked at and would flirt with me <<shudder>> who always seems to be lurking around the gas station in the morning. Yeah, you get the picture.

Anyway, I have been going to this full service station since I had my first son. I love that they wash my windows, fill my gas tank and chat with you about whatever the subject of the day may be. By the way, it is always a good idea to find something other than the weather to chat about they hear about it over 50 times on any given day. When I had my Jeep, I’d pull up and roll down the windows to talk. My oldest son loved the attention he’d get from the service man. They’d talk about trucks, camping and other boy stuff. Since we got the minivan, however, he has not been able to talk to Mike or Donnie. This upsets my son almost to tears! We pull up to the gas pump and he begs me to open his window. I’ve tried to tell him that they don’t roll down and he gets frustrated and is left to tap on the window to get attention from his friends. “Mom I only want to be friendly.” Poor guy. I guess we’ll have to take the truck next time we pass that way so he can let his friends at the filling station know that he isn’t trying to be rude, mom’s minivan simply isn’t as friendly as the Jeep was.